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(The Patriot Post) - A bill that would have closed the so-called “gun show loophole” failed to pass a Virginia House committee on 18 January, and a similar bill was defeated in a Senate committee five days later. The bills were backed by Virginia Democrat Governor Timothy Kaine, anti-gun lobbyists and the families of certain Virginia Tech shooting victims. While our condolences go out to the latter, we can’t help but notice that the “gun show loophole” —the sale of firearms between private parties at gun shows without background checks—had nothing to do with the Virginia Tech shooting. Seung-hui Cho bought his guns from licensed dealers and passed government-mandated background checks before going on a rampage in a “gun-free” zone. “The bill would not have changed anything,” said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. “If this had passed last year, Virginia Tech would still have happened.”
Gun-rights groups worry that a law requiring “instant” background checks on private sales at gun shows would be the first step toward a California-style law that requires a ten-day waiting period on private sales anywhere. We can forgive said groups for believing that the Virginia bills were nothing more than an attempt by gun grabbers to restrict further the rights of law-abiding citizens, with the Virginia Tech tragedy used as an emotional, albeit false, pretext. In the end, the shooting at Virginia Tech was politicized by the Left and the families were only pawns in the process.